|Richard L Mabry, M.D.|
Dr. Matt Newman thought he was leaving his life as a surgeon in private practice for a better one in academic medicine. But the kidnappers who attack him as he leaves the hospital at two AM have no such plans—they just want him dead. Bound and in the trunk of his car, Matt's only thought is fleeing with his life. He does escape, but at a price: a head injury that lands him in the ICU . . . where he awakens to discover he's being charged with murder.
Sandra Murray is a fiery, redheaded lawyer who swore she was done with doctors after her last relationship. But when Matt calls, she knows she can't walk away from defending someone who is truly innocent.
Matt's career is going down the drain. His freedom and perhaps his life may be next. But with the police convinced he's a killer and the kidnappers still trying to finish what they started, finding the truth—and the faith to keep going—will be the toughest stress test Matt has ever endured.
Excerpt From Chapter 1 of Stress Test:
It wasn’t hard for Dr. Matt Newman to spot his silver Chevy Impala in the darkest
In an instant Matt was slammed facedown to the cement floor. He heard a crack and felt the knife-like agony of breaking ribs. The searing pain in his chest made each labored breath more difficult. A weight pinned him to the ground like a butterfly on a specimen board.
Matt struggled, but his assailant held him fast. Fire shot through his shoulders as his arms were yanked together. There was a quick rip of tape and in seconds, his wrists were bound tightly behind him. Rough hands encircled his ankles with more tape, leaving him helpless and immobile. At the same time, someone else grabbed his hair and lifted his head. Matt gave a shrill cry before three quick turns of tape muffled his voice and turned the world black.
He tried to lift his head, but stopped abruptly when something hard and cold pressed against the back of his neck. Matt lowered his face onto the garage floor and went limp. He felt hope escape like air from a punctured tire.
There were murmurs above him, questions in a high-pitched singsong, answers from a harsh rasp like grinding gears. At first the words were indistinguishable. Then they became louder as the exchange heated.
“Why not here?” Was there a faint Hispanic accent to the whining tenor?
“The boss said not at the hospital.” The growling bass flung out the words, and spittle dotted the back of Matt’s neck. “I know just the place to get rid of him. Let’s get him into the trunk of his car.”
In the darkness that now enveloped him, Matt struggled in vain to move, to speak. He strained to hear what was said. He could only make out a few words, but they were enough to drive his heart into his shoes. “Get rid of him.”
He angled his head to catch the sounds around him: a jingle of keys, the sharp click of the trunk lock. Hinges squeaked. Matt had a momentary sensation of floating as he was lifted, carried, dropped. His head struck something hard. Splashes of red flashed behind his closed eyelids, then vanished into nothingness.
Matt floated back to consciousness like a swimmer emerging from the depths. How long had he been out? Hours? Minutes? A few seconds? At first he had no idea where he was or what was happening. Little by little, his senses cleared. He tried to open his eyes but there was no light. He tried to speak, but his lips were sealed. He cried out, but the result was only a strained grunt. Finally, he heard the faint sound of voices from inside the car, a menacing rumble and a high-pitched whine. The voices brought it all back to him.
He was on the way to his death. And the trunk of his car would be his coffin.
BIO: Richard L. Mabry, MD
A retired physician, Dr. Richard Mabry’s four previous novels have won critical acclaim. Honors include inclusion as finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times Reader’s Choice Award, and winner of the Selah Award. In addition, they have garnered the coveted 4 ½ star rating from Romantic Times Book Reviews. He is past Vice-President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the International Thriller Writers. He and his wife live in North Texas.
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